Dr. Ben Carson, former President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, told Newsmax on Tuesday that parents need to use "common sense" when deciding if they should vaccinate children under age 5 against the COVID-19 virus.
"I know there's some parents who have been frightened to death and have been waiting with bated breath for the vaccine, and that's fine for them," Carson said during "Wake Up America" on Tuesday. "But what we need to do is exercise a little bit of common sense here. The risk of a child dying or having a severe complication is 0.25%. That's approaching zero. We have no idea what the long-term risk of these vaccines are."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said June 18 that parents should vaccinate children between 6 months and 5 years old against COVID-19.
"Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a June 18 press release. "We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today's decision, they can.
"I encourage parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated."
The CDC estimates the number of children now eligible for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to be about 20 million.
The recommendation includes children who have already had the virus.
Carson said the newer variations of the virus are more contagious, but less deadly than the earlier variants, and that everyone will likely get it at some point as it enters its "endemic" phase.
"Each iteration of the virus is more contagious, it's less virulent; but it's more contagious," he said. "Which means probably pretty soon, just about everybody would test positive for it. It's becoming an endemic process."
Carson said the newer variants are more "attenuated" and no longer require lockdowns or more restrictions in society.
"A few weeks ago, when [Shanghai] locked everybody down because there were so many people who had it, you'll notice that there were very few people who were sick, and virtually no one who died," he said. "That's what happens when the thing becomes so attenuated as it is. You shouldn't let that rule your society."
Carson has also written a book for children on the importance of respecting the nation's flag, called "Red, White, and Blue. Our Flag Matters to Me and You."
"It is so important in the day and age in which we live, which there is so much controversy about our flag," he said. "People kneeling and denigrating it and perhaps not even understanding what our flag represents."
Carson said the book is designed to teach children the foundational pillars of the country including faith and liberty.
The book is available at LittlePatriotsLearning.com.
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